Sharps Injuries among Employees of Acute Care Hospitals in Massachusetts, 2002-2007
ABSTRACT Sharps with engineered sharps injury protections (SESIPs) have been found to reduce risk of sharps injuries (SIs). We examined trends in SI rates among employees of acute care hospitals in Massachusetts, including the impact of SESIPs on SI trends during 2002-2007.
Seventy-six acute care hospitals licensed by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.
Employees of acute care hospitals who reported SIs to their employers.
Data on SIs in acute care hospitals collected by the Massachusetts Sharps Injury Surveillance System were used to examine trends in SI rates over time by occupation, hospital size, and device. Negative binomial regression was used to assess trends.
During 2002-2007, 16,158 SIs among employees of 76 acute care hospitals were reported to the surveillance system. The annual SI rate decreased by 22%, with an annual decline of 4.7% (P < .001). Rates declined significantly among nurses (-7.2% per year; P < .001) but not among physicians (-0.9% per year; P = .553). SI rates associated with winged steel needles and hypodermic needles and syringes also declined significantly as the proportion of injuries involving devices with sharps injury prevention features increased during the same time period.
SI rates involving devices for which SESIPs are widely available and appear to be increasingly used have declined. The continued use of devices lacking SI protections for which SESIPs are available needs to be addressed. The extent to which injuries involving SESIPs are due to flaws in design or lack of experience and training must be examined.
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ABSTRACT: Sharps injuries are one of the most frequent health-care related accidents. It is estimated globally that 35 million workers are at risk; in Mexico there is no data available for this type of injuries. They are associated with lack of training, instrument and procedure risk, fatigue and stress. The occupational distribution is nurses 45 %, technicians 20 %, doctors 20 % and maintenance workers 5 %. The most commonly associated procedures are injection, venipuncture, suture, and insertion and manipulation of IV catheters. Hepatitis B is the most commonly transmitted agent. Emotional distress is huge as well as the cost of prophylaxis and follow-up. More than half of the injuries are not notified. The most common reasons for not reporting are: the belief that the exposure has low risk of infection, the lack of knowledge of reporting systems and the assumption that it is difficult to notify. Many strategies have been created to reduce the incidence of sharps injuries, such as: identifying the risk of blood exposure, the creation of politics to minimize the risk, the education and training to create a safe workplace, the enhancing of the reporting system, the use of double-gloving and using safety-engineered sharps devices. In many countries these politics have reduced the incidence of sharps injuries as well as the economic burden.Revista medica del Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social 05/2015; 53(3):356-361.
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ABSTRACT: Home healthcare is one of the fastest growing sectors in the United States. Percutaneous injuries from sharp medical devices (sharps) are a source of bloodborne pathogen infections among home healthcare workers and community members. Sharps use and disposal practices in the home are highly variable and there is no comprehensive analysis of the system of sharps procurement, use and disposal in home healthcare. This gap is a barrier to effective public health interventions. The objectives of this study were to i) identify the full range of pathways by which sharps enter and exit the home, stakeholders involved, and barriers for using sharps with injury prevention features; and ii) assess the leverage points for preventive interventions. This study employed qualitative research methods to develop two systems maps of the use of sharps and prevention of sharps injuries in home healthcare. Twenty-six in-depth interview sessions were conducted including home healthcare agency clinicians, public health practitioners, sharps device manufacturers, injury prevention advocates, pharmacists and others. Interview transcripts were audio-recorded and analyzed thematically using NVIVO qualitative research analysis software. Analysis of supporting archival material also was conducted. All findings guided development of the two maps. Sharps enter the home via multiple complex pathways involving home healthcare providers and home users. The providers reported using sharps with injury prevention features. However, home users' sharps seldom had injury prevention features and sharps were commonly re-used for convenience and cost-savings. Improperly discarded sharps present hazards to caregivers, waste handlers, and community members. The most effective intervention potential exists at the beginning of the sharps systems maps where interventions can eliminate or minimize sharps injuries, in particular with needleless treatment methods and sharps with injury prevention features. Manufacturers and insurance providers can improve safety with more affordable and accessible sharps with injury prevention features for home users. Sharps disposal campaigns, free-of-charge disposal containers, and convenient disposal options remain essential. Sharps injuries are preventable through public health actions that promote needleless treatment methods, sharps with injury prevention features, and safe disposal practices. Communication about hazards regarding sharps is needed for all home healthcare stakeholders.BMC Public Health 04/2015; 15(1):359. DOI:10.1186/s12889-015-1673-x · 2.32 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Background Patient-care workers are frequently exposed to sharps injuries, which can involve the risk of serious illness. Underreporting of these injuries can compromise prevention efforts.Methods We linked survey responses of 1,572 non-physician patient-care workers with the Occupational Health Services (OHS) database at two academic hospitals. We determined whether survey respondents who said they had sharps injuries indicated that they had reported them and whether reported injuries were recorded in the OHS database.ResultsRespondents said that they reported 62 of 78 sharps injuries occurring over a 12-month period. Only 28 appeared in the OHS data. Safety practices were positively associated with respondents' saying they reported sharps injuries but not with whether reported injuries appeared in the OHS data.Conclusions Administrators should consider creating reporting mechanisms that are simpler and more direct. Administrators and researchers should attempt to understand how incidents might be lost before they are recorded. Am. J. Ind. Med. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.American Journal of Industrial Medicine 10/2014; 58(3). DOI:10.1002/ajim.22392 · 1.59 Impact Factor